Despite the redundant nature of the following statement, I am nonetheless compelled to occasionally mention this little fact: when my sweet tooth aches, one can guarantee that within days, sugared treats will suddenly appear in my kitchen, and subsequently, this blog. Usually unable to limit myself to a single option, I tend toward variety; one must cover all bases when it comes to sweet cravings, right? Last week's sugar-laden feasting did not deviate from that pattern. Consider this a general warning for future sweet tooth posts, as well as a foreshadowing of what will likely characterize much of the kitchen activity detailed here during the forthcoming holiday season.
Today, I'll share a few of the week's goodies:
Tsubuan-stuffed steamed sweet potato dumplings
The reemergence of sweet potatoes at the farmers' market is always a good sign. I typically just roast and eat them plain, but have found that they are delicious in all manners of cooking, sweet or savory. Inspired by this Angku Kueh recipe, but too lazy to actually consult it, I decided to wing my own version of the mochi-like dumplings with leftover mashed sweet potato and tsubuan (chunky, sweet red bean paste). I blended the sweet potato-rice flour dough using what remained of the sweet potato and by feel for the dough's texture, and opted to forgo any food coloring. Tsubuan replaced the mung bean filling, simply because I had premade tsubuan already on hand. The dumplings were tender, sticky, and delightfully sweet--a nice departure from the more typical fruity or chocolaty treats found around here--and I'm sure it would have been just as tasty with the sweet mung bean paste.
Chocolate Tahini Quick Bread
Unable to resist the urge for chocolate and intrigued by the chocolate-sesame flavor combination, I emptied the remains of the tahini jar to make this ultra-rich loaf from 500 Vegan Recipes. The only adjustment I made was to reduce the amount of cinnamon to just a half-teaspoon; don't like it to be too overpowering when paired with chocolate. I'm glad I tried the recipe, because I now realize that combining chocolate and sesame flavors not only makes sense--it's akin to combining chocolate with something nutty--it is, in fact, rather tasty. The bread tastes more chocolaty than anything else, with the nuttiness of the tahini giving the loaf a certain depth flavor. The only complaint I have is that the bread was a bit dry, save for the center, likely from having baked it for the full time specified rather than checking it when the time had nearly expired. When I next attempt the recipe, I may try it in muffin form, or at the very least, will reduce the baking time.
I baked a batch of these scrumptious morsels from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar once before, yielding disappointing and puzzling results. My cookies had spread a great deal while baking, resulting in lacy, oily little discs--still tasty, thanks to the fabulous coconut-chocolate-chip-pecan combination; they were difficult to handle and looked absolutely nothing like those pictured in the book. Determined to achieve a more appropriate texture, yesterday, I made my second attempt at the recipe, reducing the oil to about a half-cup. That seemed to do the trick, producing cookies that were again delicious, but actually held their shape as well. I'm noting the alteration for future batches, the next of which likely comprising an attempt at the Cowgirl variation.